2015-02-28 Perceptions held by masters students of the NOMA Track Module on ‘Nutrition, Human Rights and Governance’

Marais, Martha Louisa (2014-04)

Thesis (MNutr)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Perceptions held by Masters Students of the NOMAa track module on ‘Nutrition, Human Rights and Governance’ Introduction and Objectives The interdisciplinary NOMA Track module on ‘Nutrition, Human Rights and Governance’ was developed jointly by four higher learning institutions in three countries (Norway, South Africa and Uganda). The module was incorporated into the respective Masters programmes in nutrition and consisted of three study units each of six weeks duration. The units were presented consecutively in the three countries and built on one another, totalling 18 weeks. Objectives The main aim of the study was to document perceptions of Masters students who completed the module. The objectives were to compare the perceptions of students about the study units in different countries, to document how students anticipated utilising their newly-acquired knowledge and to make recommendations for the development of similar interdisciplinary modules. Methodology A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. The sampling frame consisted of all registered students enrolled in the module. Informed written consent for both voluntary participation as well as voice recording of interviews was obtained from all participants. Data was extracted from students’ quantitative evaluation of each study unit. An interpretative methodological approach was used to elicit narrative accounts of students’ perceptions of the module during in-depth telephonic interviews. An inductive process was followed to identify emerging themes. The code list thus compiled was used to analyse unstructured data by using a text analysis computer programme. Results Twenty NOMA students enrolled at different universities participated in the study. The module was described as a life-changing experience and the way the module was structured and conducted in both developed and developing countries was highly rated. Interactive teaching styles optimised the learning experience. Presentations by a variety of experts and study visits served to enrich theoretical human rights principles by giving practical examples and by comparing implementation of these principles under varying conditions. The main difference between the study units in the different countries related to time-management and different teaching styles employed by lecturers. Transnational and interdisciplinary education provided this group of students the opportunity to enhance various professional attributes. Their willingness to learn from others provided them with valuable insight about the diverse nature of different population groups and their cultural differences. Without this understanding, poor communication, intolerance and prejudice might create barriers to optimal treatment or education of a client/community requiring professional advice. Students applied their newly acquired knowledge about human rights principles and the link with nutrition by utilising teaching opportunities, and indicated that they intended to incorporate a human rights approach in future endeavours. Conclusion The interdisciplinary NOMA Track module empowered a group of students to utilise the principles of a human rights-based approach in an appropriate manner. NOMA students developed an understanding of their new role as nutrition professionals, being challenged to interact in a globalized world if they want to make a meaningful contribution to the realisation of the right to food for all. Lessons learned from the implementation of the module will be useful to inform further decision-making on how to integrate a focus on human rights into training in nutrition at Stellenbosch University.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Persepsies van Meesterstudente oor die NOMAb-opsie module oor ‘Voeding, Menseregte en Bestuur’ Inleiding en Doelwitte Die interdissiplinêre NOMA-module opsie oor ‘Voeding, Menseregte en Bestuur’ is gesamentlik ontwikkel deur vier hoër opleidingsinstansies in drie lande: Noorweë, Suid Afrika en Uganda. Die module is geïnkorporeer in die toepaslike meestersgraadkursusse in voeding. Dit het bestaan uit drie studie-eenhede wat elkeen 6 weke geduur het (in totaal 18 weke) en opeenvolgend aangebied is in die drie lande. Doelwitte Die hoofdoel van die studie was om persepsies van meesterstudente wat die module voltooi het te dokumenteer. Die doel was om sodanige persepsies oor die studie-eenhede in verskillende lande te vergelyk, om te dokumenteer op watter wyse studente verwag om die nuwe kennis te benut en om aanbevelings te maak vir die ontwikkeling van soortgelyke interdissiplinêre modules. Metode ‘n Dwarssnit studieontwerp met ‘n gemengde metode benadering is gevolg. Die steekproefraamwerk het bestaan uit alle geregistreerde studente wat ingeskryf het vir die module. Ingeligde, geskrewe toestemming vir vrywillige deelname asook om stemopnames van onderhoude te maak, is van alle deelnemers verkry. Data is onttrek uit studente se kwantitatiewe evaluering van elke studie-eenheid. ‘n Metodologiese benadering van interpretasie is gevolg om ‘n narratiewe weergawe van studente se persepsies te ontlok gedurende in-diepte telefoniese onderhoude. Temas is induktief geïdentifiseer en ‘n ooreenstemmende kodelys is gebruik om ongestruktureerde data te analiseer met ʼn teksanalise rekenaarprogram. Resultate Twintig NOMA studente, ingeskryf by verskillende universiteite, het deelgeneem aan die studie. Die module is beskryf as ʼn lewensveranderende ondervinding. Die wyse waarop die module gestruktureer en aangebied is in beide ontwikkelde en ontwikkelende lande, is hoog op prys gestel. Die interaktiewe onderrigstyl het die leerervaring optimaal bevorder. Aanbiedings deur verskeie kundiges en studiebesoeke het daartoe bygedra dat teoretiese menseregte-beginsels verbreed is deur praktiese voorbeelde te verskaf. Die implementering van hierdie beginsels onder verskillende omstandighede is vergelyk. Die grootste verskille tussen die studie-eenhede in die onderskeie lande het verband gehou met tydsbesteding en dosente se verskillende onderrigstyle. Transnasionale en interdissiplinêre onderrig het hierdie groep studente geleentheid gegun om verskeie professionele vaardighede te ontwikkel. Hul bereidheid om by ander te leer het waardevolle insae gegee in die diverse aard van verskillende populasiegroepe en kultuurverskille. Daarsonder kon struikelblokke ontstaan het weens swak kommunikasie, onverdraagsaamheid en vooroordele. Dit kan verhoed dat optimale behandeling of onderrig verskaf word aan ʼn kliënt/gemeenskap wat professionele advies benodig. Studente het hul nuut-verworwe kennis oor menseregte-beginsels en die verband met voeding toegepas in onderriggeleenthede en het onderneem om ‘n menseregte-benadering te volg in toekomstige ondernemings. Gevolgtrekking Die interdissiplinêre NOMA-module opsie het ʼn groep studente bemagtig om die beginsels van ʼn menseregte-benadering op ʼn toepaslike wyse te gebruik. NOMA studente verstaan nou hul nuwe rol as kundiges in voeding, naamlik dat hulle uitgedaag word tot interaksie in ʼn globaliserende wêreld, as hulle ʼn merkbare bydrae wil lewer tot die verwesenliking van die reg tot voldoende voedsel vir almal. Lesse wat geleer is uit die implementering van die module sal waardevol wees wanneer daar besluite geneem word oor die beste manier waarop ʼn menseregte fokus ingesluit kan word in voeding-opleiding by Stellenbosch Universiteit.

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